Exciting year for St Wilfrid’s Procession

St Wilfrid leads the St Wilfrid's Procession in the 2011 parade.  (110730M2o)

St Wilfrid leads the St Wilfrid's Procession in the 2011 parade. (110730M2o)

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Organisers of this year’s St Wilfrid’s Procession said they are getting setting for the biggest and best year yet.

This year’s 51st annual event, which takes place on Saturday, August 3, will include a range of entertainment and activities for all the family, in addition to its famous array of colourful floats.

“It’s looking great this year,” committee member Samantha Dalton told the Gazette.

“We have 13 floats booked in so far, which is the biggest number we have had in a while.

“I feel really, really good about this year.”

And Mrs Dalton, who has been on the St Wilfrid’s Procession committee for the past year, said this year’s floats include a number of special additions.

“There are a few new entries this year, such as Bishopton Vets – which is celebrating its 70th anniversary – MKM Building Supplies, Ripon Pet Supplies, Ripon Red Arrows and Wibbly Wobbly Gifts,” she said.

“FB Taylors is also taking part for the 30th year, which is a huge achievement.”

In addition to the procession of floats – which starts at 1.30pm on Studely Road and enters the market square at 2pm – the year’s event will welcome Stray FM, Upstage Academy, the Surmandy Jugglers, a steel brass band, the St Wilfrid Tart and Guess balloon competition and a number of other activities on the market square. The committee will also launch the St Wilfrid’s Best Dressed Shop Window Competition on Saturday, July 27, which will be judged two days before the procession on August 1.

“We have had a great response with 22 entries from shops around the city taking part for free, helping to make Ripon look as colourful as possible,” said Mrs Dalton, who added that the only rule of the contest is to ensure the shops use St Wilfrid’s blue and yellow colours.

And throughout the year, organisers have been busy fundraising for the procession, with events such as a ladies’ night, a comedy night, and the St Wilfrid’s Ball. The committee have also been supported by procession sponsors, EuraAudit UK accountants and tax advisors in Ripon.

Mrs Dalton added that by setting up a Facebook page, the committee has been able to publicise the event more than ever before.

“It has been a great way to up date people in the area,” she said. “You can see why the committee is really looking forward to this year’s procession – let’s just keep our fingers crossed for some dry weather! Our main aim is to have a fantastic time for everyone and put the event back to the hearts of the people.”